Pitching has been an issue for the Chicago Cubs during the past several years, but newcomer Edwin Jackson might be able to help with this agonizing problem.
Jackson, who was traded from the Washington Nationals during the off-season, won his first game of Spring Training on Monday as the Cubs beat the San Diego Padres, 5-2. The right-hander gave up one run, three hits, one walk, and struck out three in six innings of work.
“I’m just trying to progress as the season goes on,” Jackson told Cubs.com after the game. “I’m just trying to get closer to game mode as we get closer to the end of March, and I’m just trying to keep the ball rolling in a positive direction right on into the season.”
The 29-year-old certainly has the right mindset as he enters his first season with the Cubs, a club that could desperately use his pitching skills. Jackson might even prove to be a bit of competition for teammate Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs’ ace pitcher. Samardzija has a slightly better ERA but who knows? Maybe Jackson will eventually overpower Samardzija. What’s certain right now is that the Cubs appear to have quite the duo on their hands for their number one and two starters. They can’t exactly be compared to the likes of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, but these two may be a threat to the Cubs’ opponents.
While Jackson has been quite impressive during his time in Spring Training, Samardzija will be taking the mound on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. However, Jackson will get the nod on Opening Day at Wrigley Field on April 8 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
In just two short weeks, Jackson will have his first official start as a Cub, and his Spring Training performances should have Cubs fans thinking positive thoughts about the 2013 season.